[EDITORIALS]A day for all childrenToday is the 84th Children’s Day. It is also the start of a three-day holiday, filling the streets with people going out on family outings. We can hear the laughter of our children rebounding in hopeful echoes across the country.
Yet not all children will be out enjoying themselves today.
A few years ago, the media reported the story of a five-year-old girl suffering from four rare diseases who received the first birthday celebration in her life; she had to have tubes connected to her nostrils the entire time. There are more than 100,000 children who suffer from about 400 types of rare diseases. For these children, holding their parents’ hands and going out on Children’s Day is something they can only dream about. Their parents groan under debts racked up by paying for MRIs or non-insured hospital fees.
Even more children are exposed to complications that developed because they could not receive proper treatment.
For the 20,000 or so children confined to orphanages or the 280 childcare facilities nationwide, Children’s Day is a foreign event. With their parents having lost their jobs, failed in business or living in poverty, about 10,000 children on an annual basis are sent to childcare facilities or are adopted.
Neither is today a particularly happy one for the 4,000 or so children who are in charge of their household, and the 4,600 children who are abused. Moreover, the thousands of bi-ethnic children that are born in Southeast Asia these days between Southeast Asian mothers and Korean fathers also demand our concern and attention.
It is true that our society’s concern for its neglected children has increased, but that level is still far short of that in developed countries.
This year, at least some congenitally deformed children, Vietnam-Korean mixed race children and abused children will have participated at Children’s Day events.
We hope the message of the welfare of children, their rights and their protection, is put in the hearts and the actions of everyone celebrating this Children’s Day.